There is no way I could walk a mile in my daughter’s shoes.
Like millions of kids around the world, she is addicted to Heelys, the hybrid skate-sneakers with a removable wheel in each heel. She got them for Christmas after pining over them for months, and she has been alternately clomping and gliding across our hardwood floors ever since.
Sold in more than 60 countries, from Andorra to Zimbabwe, the shoes are an international phenomenon that shows no sign of slowing down. But as sales increase, so does the controversy. Heelys have been banned from schools and shopping malls because of safety concerns, and a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization called W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc.) placed them at the top of its 2006 list of the 10 worst toys.
I first saw Heelys in September 2003, when some kids from California who were visiting the area stopped by our garage sale and amazed us by gliding down the driveway on their sneakers. It has taken a while for the trend to reach Oneonta, but it is definitely here. "I see so many kids with those things," said a checkout clerk at a local supermarket, which, from a kid’s perspective, is the perfect venue for "heeling," with its long aisles and smooth floors.
My daughter says at least 10 of the 21 kids in her fourth-grade class have Heelys. The shoes come with a wheel-removal tool and a heel plug that is inserted into the hole where the wheel was, converting the skates to regular sneakers. Students aren’t allowed to use the wheels on school grounds _ but they still wear the shoes, often decorated with colorful laces.
Part extreme sport, part hot toy, part clothing trend _ there’s no question, Heelys are unique. They’re a toy you can wear, and that gives them far greater mass appeal than the Rubik’s cubes and Jordache jeans of my elementary school days. "They’re addictive," my daughter says. "Once you learn how to heel, it’s just like, `Wow, this is so fun. I want to do this all day!’"
There is no way I could walk a mile in my daughter’s shoes.
- Big Chuck D'Imperio
Baseball cards: Different spokes for different folks
Baseball cards as an investment? Fugetaboutit!Continued ...
- It's just a short drive down my memory lane
- Sept. 11 Museum is sobering, inspiring
- Remembering the singing cowboy
- The plain plane truth ruins CNN
- Baseball cards: Different spokes for different folks
- Cary Brunswick
Gaskin and The Farm filled a void
Stephen Gaskin, who died July 1 more than 40 years after founding one of the largest and longest-surviving communes in American history, knew that it was healthy for people to have a meaning in life.Continued ...
- We shouldn't be surprised by Iraq's turmoil
- Brunswick column on hiatus
- Two-tiered Internet is a bad idea
- New York should follow Vermont's lead
- Gaskin and The Farm filled a void
- Chuck Pinkey
- Guest Column
Like it or not, the curriculum needed reform
When we first examined the new Common Core Regents exams this June, we felt a sense of relief, not the distress or feeling of doom that has been played up in the media. "Exciting" is the word that comes to mind to describe how we felt about an exam that attempts to more accurately measure the real-world skills our students practice in class.Continued ...
- Police must crack down on motorcycle noise
- SAFE Act won't help get the lead out
- Sessions' betrayal should live in infamy
- Drilling's future is at stake in state's high court
- Like it or not, the curriculum needed reform
- Lisa Miller
A view from above
Fire towers in the Catskill Mountains have always been destination points, built to capture some of the region’s best views. These sentinel stations served an important role for the earliest possible sightings of forest fires in the remote mountain ranges. But the fire towers and those who manned them fulfilled a multitude of other roles as well.Continued ...
- Being a parent is a constant learning process
- Healthy doesn't have to mean expensive
- A family era ends with close of Potter series
- Independent stores make up for loss of Borders
- A view from above
- Mark Simonson
Successes, train derailment were newsmakers in July 1984
The names and accomplishments of New, Drago, Ferraro and Ono, and a train derailment in Emmons were all making news in our area during July 1984.Continued ...
- Oneonta street boomed to prosperity in 1893
- Local landmarks, new conveniences made news in summer 1954
- Locals headed to the lakesides in July 1924
- Local closures, communism, bike parade highlighted July 1949
- Successes, train derailment were newsmakers in July 1984
- Rick Brockway
Good old days revolved around a good old swimming hole
As I've told you many times, I grew up on the family farm outside of Laurens. During the summer, we spent many hours each day putting hay in the barn for the cows. It was hot and sweaty work, stacking the bales in the mow when temperatures were in the 90s and the humidity was about as high. But at the end of the day, we headed up the creek to a favorite spot â€" the old swimming hole.
- Sometimes hungry animals just come with the territory
- There's plenty to do at the Ellenville Fault Ice Caves
- Fireflies never cease to amaze as nature's night-lights
- Waterfalls are worth the trip
- Good old days revolved around a good old swimming hole
- Sam Pollak
Macho, crazy America sticks to its guns
"I shoot first, and ask questions later."Continued ...
- My father is in my mirror, my dreams
- Being president doesn't look like much fun
- Some changes are just style over substance
- Mr. Adelson disturbs my 'ghetto mentality'
- Macho, crazy America sticks to its guns
- William Masters
Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues
As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.
Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner
An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.
Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity
Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.
Romney shows little regard for common man
The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.
Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists
The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.
- Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues